First Class Stories

Every now and then people write to me and share the story of their First Ballet Class.
The Adult Beginner loves that!
It’s so neat to see the first plié through someone else’s eyes, amIright?
How it was different, how it was the same, that whole, “Yes, me too, I felt like that too!” feeling?
So I was thinking it would be neat to have some place where people can share their First Class stories and it might even be fun for people who haven’t had a first class yet to be able to read other people’s stories and be like, “ok, that’s not so scary”, or maybe even be like, “yikes, that is totally scary! But intriguing!”
Some place…
Like maybe a page on a blog?
So, hey, wanna play?
If you’d like to tell about your first ballet class ever, or your first class as a returner, or your first class with a new teacher or new style of ballet, or link to your First Class Story on your own blog, I would really love to read it and I bet other people would too.

70 Responses to First Class Stories

  1. Hi Adult Beginner! I’ve been creeping on your blog the last few days and noticed I never did post my first class story, so here we go!

    I was 25, post child, depressed and really really fluffy after years of eating my feelings and working at a desk 10hrs a day. I’d tried all sorts of exercise plans/programs and nothing stuck. Zumba, running (5ks and such), swimming, a 5 year gym membership (read: money flushed down the toilet), pilates, yoga…. you name it, I tried it. I tried all sorts of diets as well without ever committing. I sat down one day in frustration and thought about the things I loved to do as a kid/teen, and dance stuck out from the myriad of activities I used to do. I danced from 3-18 and was actually reasonably talented back in the day, so I decided to seek out ballet classes.

    My outfit for my first dance class was totally ridiculous. I sucked it up and bought a leotard, tights and ballet slippers, but I was super self conscious about it, so for whatever reason I decided to wear a pair of lavender leggings UNDERNEATH my leotard and over my tights. Because that weird idea won’t draw more attention… lol.

    The studio I settled on offered two ballet classes in my age range. Beginning, for ages 11 to adult, and intermediate/advanced, for ages 14 to adult. I tried out the beginning class first, and lo and behold it was several 11 year olds and me, the old, extremely tall (6’1) chubby adult. The terms and technique quickly came back to me, but my strength betrayed me.

    After class the instructor asked me to stay for the intermediate class. I took two classes that day– intermediate was better for me as it was almost entirely composed of adults and a few older teens, and I was able to keep up technically. The studio owner and instructor asked me to remain in the intermediate class, and that I did!

    Three weeks back to the barre I was asked if I’d be interested in joining the pointe class, so I did! At 2nd semester I added lyrical class, and performed that year in three numbers… technique, lyrical and pointe! Second year I added contemporary to the mix, and this year I’m taking lyrical, jazz, ballet technique, pointe, 2 tap classes, contemporary and I’m assistant teaching 3 little kid classes. Dance is what I thrive on and I’m SO happy I decided to take the plunge and try out dance again. I’ve lost over 50lbs from dance alone and it’s been a crazy whirlwind. I’m in the studio almost every day, and if I ever become independently wealthy (better start playing the lottery) I’ll be there 100% of my free time.

    Dance is amazing, terrifying, and the best emotional outlet around town. :)

  2. Ashley Daily says:

    My first reply on this bloggity-blog.
    This is a true story.
    I have only been taking Ballet for 5 weeks. I am, in essence, the beginningest of beginners.
    As a child I had such an overflow of energy, my parents put me in every sport they could afford: soccer, gymnastics, swimming, volleyball, softball, basketball. And you know what, I was pretty good at them all. In order to teach me to calm my cluttered mind, I also took piano lessons- and I ended up being really good at that. So, I studied classical piano in college and have been playing for 24 years now.
    But I always wanted to try Ballet. I devoured all the ballet movies I could find, got my sister to teach me the basic positions I wasn’t already familiar with (from gymnastics) and practiced everything. But, no ballet class for me. Sad.
    In college, I played in the symphony and I would watch the ballet dancers and be jealous.
    I did musical theater and danced with ballerinas- they were a dream to watch.
    My best friend is a dancer. My other best friend is a freaking prima ballerina.
    And still, no ballet for me.
    Yoga, yes. Running, yes. Marathons? Yes. Triathlons? yes.
    Ballet? no.
    I honestly thought my “ballet window” was shut. No one would teach an adult beginner, right?
    And then, the clouds parted, the sun shone and the angels sang: with the help of another dance friend, I found a class!!!!!
    I anticipated my first Saturday morning like a child waiting for christmas. It was even snowing the morning I first went to class.
    It’s a Barre class and there were 3 other people there: one young man (20’s), and one older woman (60’s) and the instructor. So, I jumped right in wearing a pair of leggings and a sweater dress, barefoot. It was de-lightful, de-licious, de-lovely.
    Immediately after class, I went home and ordered the NYC Ballet workout DVD, Mary Helen Bowers Ballet Beautiful, bought my first pair of slippers, a couple pairs of underwear that don’t ride up (you know what I mean!), and am planning my journey into pointe.
    I have drunk the Ballet-kool-aid and it is delicious.

  3. Kirra says:

    I just got home from my first ballet class! I have been anticipating it for a loooong time (like, 15 years?) and the stars finally aligned so I could do it. I am almost too exhausted to type, but here goes:

    I took a class at the academy of my city’s ballet company. They offer adult ballet about 5 times a week, but it’s all open, no specific level. I talked to someone there last week and they assured me I would be fine, any level of experience (or none at all) is welcomed. Since it’s downtown, and I do not live downtown, it was a bit of a hike to drive down there, but at least they have free parking for the ballet school! Plus, it was pretty cool to be in the same building where the company rehearses (though I don’t think I saw any company members while I was down there).

    The class was pretty big, at least 20 students, which surprised me since it was a weekday morning, and I seemed to be the only new one, so that was a little intimidating. There were maybe one or two others that looked like they were having a little trouble keeping up. I was also one of only 3 in pink tights! But I embraced the ballet and bravely faced my body in pink tights, black leotard, short black shorts, and a burgundy tank. I introduced myself to the teacher when she got there, and she told me she would mostly leave me alone for today, just watch to see what I can do. I danced jazz competitively from age 9-16, but it’s been almost 12 years now since my last dance class. I’m mostly new to ballet, but know a good deal of terminology and technique. I’m just so, so out of shape.

    So, the class was and hour and a half. We did about an hour of barre, which wasn’t too tough to keep up with, I just had terribly pathetic/nonexistent extensions. We didn’t do any stretches together, but got a 5 minute break or so after barre where everyone kind of stretched on their own. Then we did a couple different combinations in center, and a couple across the floor. I have to say it was very fast paced, and if I hadn’t already known 90% of the terminology I would have been totally lost, so this was definitely not a class for the absolute beginner.

    Overall, it was a fantastic workout and I had fun, but I had two complaints. 1. the teacher never once gave instruction on what our arms should be doing, so I felt like I was constantly flailing around trying to follow what everyone else was doing, and 2. she gave almost no corrections. To anyone. This concerns me, because I really want to get better and do things right.

    My conclusions: I will definitely continue with ballet, but I want to try out another studio or two before I go back to this one. I think I would enjoy a smaller, slower paced class where I can really focus on technique.

  4. Barbara says:

    I took my first ballet class about 20 years ago at the age of 50 with a teacher that gave INDIVIDUAL corrections by calling out your name constantly and you would get the same correction until you got it and then she moved on to a different correction. Adults were MORTIFIED but NOT ME!!! I am so incredibly THANKFUL for her because she was a dying breed and did have to close her studio because adults could not take it. They just want to go to a class and have fun not really learn the art of ballet because it is HARRD!!! Since then I have had to take from teachers such as yours and am ever grateful I started with a teacher that really cared about ME learning.

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